Image by Benjamin Reay, via Flickr Commons
It’s a new year, which means it’s time for the Edge.org to pose its annual question to some of the world’s finest minds.
Amazing things happen every day in New York City—some spontaneous, some whose execution is carefully planned over weeks and months.[...]
Last night, during a talk on his new book Raising the Floor, longtime labor leader and current senior fellow at Columbia University Andy Stern told the story of a king and a chessmaster engaged in pitched battle. “If you win,” said the overconfident king, “you may have anything you desire.[...]
During the 17th and 18th centuries, European Enlightenment philosophers discarded the origin stories in religious texts as wildly implausible or simply allegorical. But they found themselves charged with coming up with their own, naturalistic explanations for the origins of life, law, morality, etc.[...]
Carl Sagan may have passed away almost twenty years ago, but he continues to influence minds of all generations through intellectual heirs like Neil DeGrasse Tyson (host of the remake of Sagan’s beloved 1980 TV series Cosmos) as well as through the books he wrote in his lifetime.[...]
Back in 1993, James Gleick wrote Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. A decade later came his biography on Isaac Newton. As Gleick mentions above, the two scientists–who lived, of course, centuries apart–shared very little in common. Newton (1643-1727) was “solitary, antisocial, unpleasant, bitter.[...]
Briefly noted: Right now, on National Geographic’s YouTube channel, you can watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary Before the Flood. Here’s a quick summary:
Before the Flood, directed by Fisher Stevens, captures a three-year personal journey alongside Academy Award-winning actor and U.N.
Yesterday we featured an online archive of “chymical” manuscripts from the hand of Isaac Newton, who, in addition to modern physics and mathematics, practiced the magical, medieval art of alchemy.[...]
In his 1686 Principia Mathematica, Isaac Newton elaborated not only his famous Law of Gravity, but also his Three Laws of Motion, setting a centuries-long trend for scientific three-law sets. Newton’s third law has by far proven his most popular: “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” In Arthur C.[...]
The great Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza, it is said, drew his conceptions of god and the universe from his work as an optician, grinding lenses day after day. He lived a life singularly devoted to glass, in which his “evenings to evenings are equal.[...]